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Persistent Heartburn: Functional Nutrition Tips

Video Transcript:

Hi everyone. Welcome back.

Have you ever experienced a burning sensation in your chest after eating or lying down? If you have, you've probably been experiencing heartburn.

What is persistent heartburn?

Persistent heartburn is a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux, and it's actually quite common affecting about 28% of the US population.

Now, the standard treatment for persistent heartburn is the initiation of acid blocking medications like PPIs or H2 blockers.

It's estimated that about 40% of those with this standard treatment are actually still having symptoms, and prolonged use of these medications can increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies as well as infections.

So in today's video, we are going to review what GERD and heartburn are and possible causes for them, as well as I'll provide you with some functional nutrition tips to help you find some relief.

Hi, my name is Katie Bailey. I'm a gut health dietician at Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help individuals improve and resolve their bothersome gut issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and more.

If you are interested in gut health and would like to learn more, I've linked our free guide 4 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health Below in the Description Box. Okay, let's get started on today's topic.

Heartburn vs Acid Reflux

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and it's characterized by a burning sensation in your chest.

Heartburn is usually worse after meals at nighttime or when lying down.

Now, acid reflux is when food or stomach acid flows back into your esophagus causing irritation and discomfort.

While occasional heartburn isn't really a cause for concern, that persistent heartburn is a sign of chronic acid reflux or gerd, and if left untreated can cause complications like esophageal ulcers.

Now, there are many factors that can lead to heartburn and gerd.

One possible cause is when the lower esophageal sphincter is weakened. Now, this sphincter is the opening between your esophagus and your stomach, and when this sphincter is tight, it prevents that acid from coming up.

Now, this can become weak during pregnancy or with obesity with the excessive intake of fat and alcohol eating large meals and smoking. Having low stomach acid can also affect the sphincter.

When the stomach is optimally acidic, it triggers that sphincter to tighten and prevent reflux from occurring, but when we don't have enough stomach acid, it can cause that sphincter to relax.

Now, things like stress in aging, acid lowering medication and h pylori infections can all cause your stomach acid to be too low. And this is important because if the reason that you are having heartburn is because of low stomach acid and the conventional treatment is low acid lowering medication, that could actually be making your situation worse.

So that's why functional techniques can be very beneficial. A functional approach to heartburn includes determining the root cause of the symptom while providing relief for the individual through diet, exercise, and supplements.

Heartburn Foods To Avoid

There are foods that can trigger heartburn for individuals, things like coffee and chocolate, spicy foods, fatty and acidic foods, as well as carbonated beverages. However, not everybody who consumes these foods will experience heartburn, so it's important to find your specific food triggers so that these can be avoided.

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In the meantime to alleviate symptoms, eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding eating close to bedtime can also be beneficial.

Limiting alcohol and avoiding smoking are also lifestyle factors that are recommended.

Supplements for Persistent Heartburn

Supplements can be very helpful in helping to alleviate symptoms and help to soothe and heal that esophageal lining. Aloe vera licorice extract.

Herbs like marshmallow root and slippery elm have all been shown to really help soothe the digestive tract as well as relieve heartburn.

These can be taken individually or they do have supplements out there that have these in a combination form.

I've personally found mixing aloe vera juice with water has been very helpful for clients in reducing their symptoms and also probiotics.

Probiotics have been shown to really help ease heartburn individuals strains of lactobacillus and bifido bacterium in particular, I have many clients that use lactobacillus acidophilus powder to help ease symptoms and they found that to be very helpful.

As always, these are general tips, and so before you start anything new, make sure to check with your doctor to make sure that these are going to be right for you and that they're not going to interact or affect anything else that you're taking.

It's so important to take a root cause approach to get to the bottom of why you're having heartburn in the first place because this is going to make your treatment more effective at resolving the problem altogether rather than just masking the symptom.

To wrap up our topic for today, persistent heartburn is an uncomfortable condition that is conventionally treated with acid blocking medication and generally this medication can help to alleviate symptoms sometimes, but doesn't always get to the root cause of the problem.

And long-term, they can have negative side effects like nutrient deficiencies and infections. If you're currently on acid blocking medication and are looking to move to a more functional approach, make sure you work with a professional before you do that to ensure that you're doing this properly.

Manage managing persistent heartburn requires a comprehensive approach with making diet and lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals more frequently, avoiding your specific trigger foods, limiting alcohol and smoking, as well as including beneficial supplements like aloe vera and probiotics and different herbs to help provide relief while you get to the root cause of the problem.

Okay, so that's it for today's topic. If you liked this video, please hit the like button and subscribe for more nutrition videos. If you're interested in working with our clinic, you can click the link below on the description box to make an appointment. We do take insurance and you can find that information on our website.

Thank you for watching. I'll see you next time. Bye.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic.  We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH  




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